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Duke Renewables buys 20-MW wind project

Duke Energy Renewables has agreed to buy a 20-megawatt wind farm in Wisconsin.

Duke Renewables signed the contract to buy the 500-acre Shirley Windpower Project from Central Hudson Enterprises on Tuesday. The deal is expected to close in July. Duke and Central Hudson have declined to disclose the financial details.

It is the second wind project Duke has announced this week. On Tuesday, the company said it would build the 168-megawatt Ironwood Windpower Project in Kansas using 73 Siemens Energy turbines.

The projects will push Duke over the 1,000-megawatt mark for its commercial wind ventures.

“Our strategic acquisition … not only helps us reach the 1,000-megawatt milestone, it serves as a springboard for growth in a new region of the United States,” says Greg Wolf, president of Duke Renewables.

Smallest project

The Shirley farm, located 30 miles southeast of Green Bay, will be Duke Renewables' smallest wind project. It comprises eight Nordex 2.5-megawatt turbines. Duke’s next-smallest farm is the 29.4-megawatt, 14-turbine Happy Jack project in Wyoming.

Duke will sell the power produced at Shirley, as well as the associated renewable-energy credits, to Wisconsin Public Service Corp. under a 20-year power-purchase agreement. The farm will generate enough electricity to power 600 homes.

Central Hudson bought the project in 2009. It started operations this past December.

“This divestiture is consistent with the new strategic direction announced late last year to focus on our core energy-delivery businesses,” says Central Hudson Chief Executive Steven Lant.

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